There are more marketing options than ever before. Nearly half (47 percent) of small business owners direct or manage their own marketing efforts, despite not having any formal marketing training.
This creates the potential for a complex and bewildering scene for SMEs and creates pain points we often engage with.
Focus on Your Priorities!
First of all, our seminar delegates regularly identify lead creation, new business development and client retention as their biggest priorities. This is consistent with the 2016 Small Business Marketing Trends Report which found the following.
What Marketing Channels should I be using?
Electronic marketing (own websites, social media, and email) frequently dominate because of perceived cost effectiveness. But every business is different. The key lies in being clear about what you are trying to achieve and your target market’s preferences. This will require patient testing as you plan, implement, monitor, hone and prioritise.
Key Points of Weakness:
Implementation is everything! Being thorough in designing the workflow, measuring the results and refining the process are all vital. Pro-actions regularly come across three key areas of weakness:
1 – Following up with leads and customers can be ad-hoc or simply not done at all
Lack of process leaves this vital task to chance. This all too often means that warm leads don’t become clients or existing customer lapse.
Putting in place a simple follow up process is not difficult. It starts with the data, whether that be a pipeline tracker or an analysis identifying lapsed customers. A work-stream can then be built and responsibility allocated to follow up and tracking put in place to close the loop.
2 – Marketing Return on Investment is seldom tracked
The result is that activity is repeated for “fear of missing out”. Or is being axed because it’s too expensive without any real idea of the role it plays.
In the same survey, nearly half of all small business owners admitted to not knowing whether their marketing is effective.
2016 Small Business Marketing Trends Report Infusionsoft.com | Leadpages.net.
The reality is that many of today’s marketing options can be tracked and analysed to show how successful they are at generating leads and converting prospects. Including the all-important cost of acquisition.
For further information on measuring return on marketing investment read: /marketing-fluffy-or-providing-return-on-investment/#more-2216.
3 – There is poor use of marketing IT solution
Often marketing activities are done in insolation. With no coherent plan or workflow that links it all together. Tracking, analysing and honing performance is difficult when there are no connections.
Cost effective marketing and sales IT packages exist and can be linked together to create a complete marketing automation. A CRM software solution for your business can provide email marketing and lead generation. Thus putting you in control and giving you an overall picture.
We’ve seen that small businesses all too frequently are missing out on some big opportunities. Businesses who are not doing any marketing at all or being haphazard in their approach are losing out. For us, the first step is to identify the key marketing goals that support your overall business goals.
There is a bewildering array of marketing techniques and initiatives that could be deployed. The key is finding the blend to suit your circumstances. Above all with thought, planning and review every business can find the marketing mix that works for them. Therefore helping them to achieve their goals!
Too many businesses don’t measure or understand the effectiveness of their marketing and aren’t using the relatively inexpensive tools that are available to help them.